7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti

FILE PHOTO: A view shows houses destroyed following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti August 14, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES/File Photo

 A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti at 8:30am local time at a depth of around 10km. The epicentre was recorded around 12km northeast of SaintLouis-du-Sud, about 125km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Haiti’s Civil Protection reports at least 304 deaths and 1,800 injured so far, figures which are expected to rise. Initial reports indicate more than 700 collapsed buildings, including hospitals and schools, at least 3,778 homes destroyed and significant damages to infrastructure and roads.

Severe humanitarian access constraints and fragile security situation greatly complicate the humanitarian response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a onemonth national state of emergency. Government has requested specific international assistance for urban search-andrescue, stating that additional support will not be requested until the extent of damages is known.

USAID is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to support damage and needs assessments in coordination with the Government and humanitarian partners.

Government and UN partners are working closely to conduct post-impact damage and needs assessments and to activate rapid response mechanisms.

Fast-approaching Tropical Storm Grace is expected to reach Haiti between 16 and 17 August, potentially exposing an already vulnerable population to a double impact in a matter of days.

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